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Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay to visit Bristol

Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay to visit Bristol

The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay will visit Bristol during its final journey through England this summer.

11 May 2022

Birmingham 2022 is hosting the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – a journey which brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games. In England, the Queen’s Baton Relay will provide the opportunity for communities to experience the excitement for Birmingham 2022, as the 11 days of showstopping sport gets ever closer.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is set to travel the length and breadth of England for a total of 29 days, before arriving at the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 on 28 July 2022. Kicking off on Thursday 2 June, the Baton will spend four days in London, coinciding with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend. The Baton will then resume the international leg of its journey before returning to England on Monday 4 July to kick off a 25-day tour of the regions.

On Tuesday 5 July, Bristol will officially welcome the Baton and its Batonbearers. In Bristol, some five per cent of people were born in other Commonwealth countries.

A busy schedule of activities and events are planned for the Queen’s Baton Relay, with opportunities to highlight untold stories from Batonbearers who are striving for change in their community.

During its time in Bristol, the Queen’s Baton Relay will visit the Empire Fighting Chance Charity (EFC), where the Batonbearer will be invited to spar with local boxers, including former Commonwealth Champion and World Champion, Lee Haskins. They will then head to St Agnes Park to meet with children from local schools.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, himself a keen boxer, said: “I know the power sport has to change lives, I am looking forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay to Bristol this summer. We are one of hundreds of communities across the country that make up part of the route in the lead up to the games.

“When we were asked to choose a venue for the Batonbearer to visit, Empire Fighting Chance’s boxing gym was an obvious choice, as not only have they produced Commonwealth champions, they make a real difference to the lives of local young people every day. The baton being here gives us a chance to recognise sport in our communities, as well as to celebrate the diversity and international links of our population across the city.”

The schedule of activity for the Baton’s time in Bristol includes:

  • 11:00 – Boxing training with Empire Fighting Chance
  • 11:10 – Batonbearers make their way to St Pauls Adventure Playground
  • 11:20 – Batonbearers meet local school children in the playground.

Members of the public are encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and embrace the arrival of the Baton, taking the opportunity to experience the buzz of Birmingham 2022 in their community. People who want to watch the Baton Relay pass through Bristol are being encouraged to join the school children at St Agnes Park.

The Birmingham 2022 website will be updated with information over the coming months, with detail on the events and where to line the route.

EFC uses non-contact boxing, education and mentoring to support young people from deprived communities to make changes in their lives. In 2021, EFC helped over 4,900 eight to 25-year-olds across the south west and Wales, including tackling knife crime and reducing other criminal and anti-social behaviour.

Chris Sanigar, Ambassador of Empire Fighting Chance, said: “Grassroots sport in communities around the country can change lives. We are delighted that the Queen’s Baton Relay to celebrate the Commonwealth Games is coming to Empire Fighting Chance. This is an opportunity for us to celebrate young people from Bristol who have gone on to be Commonwealth Champions. We want to inspire our local school-children to become the next sports champions!

Thousands of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through England, including those nominated in recognition of their contributions to their local community, whether that be in sport, education, the arts, culture or charity. Between 40 and 130 Batonbearers will carry the Baton each day, and the Relay will reach hundreds of villages, towns and cities during its tour of the country.

Travelling via land, air and sea, more than 180 communities in England will experience the Queen’s Baton on a route spanning 2,500 miles. 
Since its inaugural appearance at the Cardiff 1958 Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton Relay has been a tradition for the Commonwealth Games. The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay began at Buckingham Palace on 7 October 2021, when The Queen placed Her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton and passed it to four-time Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox, who had the honour of being the first of thousands of Batonbearers to carry the Baton.

Since then, the Baton has visited Commonwealth nations and territories in Europe, Africa and Oceania. It is still to visit the Caribbean, the Americas, and more countries in Europe, including the Home Nations, before returning to England in summer for the final countdown to the Commonwealth Games.

Phil Batty, Director of Ceremonies, Culture & Queen's Baton Relay, said: “Whilst the Baton has been travelling across the Commonwealth, we have worked closely with Local Authorities in England to devise a route that engages with hundreds of communities, passing sport venues, historic sites, local schools and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Yet the Queen’s Baton Relay is far more than just a journey. It symbolises connecting people from every corner of the Commonwealth, celebrates Batonbearers who take on challenges, and marks the countdown to the biggest sporting event in West Midlands history. And by the time the Baton returns to England for the final leg, 71 nations and territories will have already experienced the magic that comes with it.

“We hope that communities across the country join the excitement, attend events near them, line the streets to cheer on our incredible Batonbearers and celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin DBE said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay symbolises hope, solidarity and collaboration across the Commonwealth at a time when it is needed most. It continues to inspire people wherever it goes and creates huge excitement for Birmingham 2022 as it journeys towards the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on July 28.”

For more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay, visit www.birmingham2022.com/qbr.

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